Marijuana should be removed from the list of performance-enhancing drugs, say Australia's major sporting organizations.
The Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports _ which represents cricket, football, Australian Rules football, rugby league, rugby union and tennis _ said on Tuesday it believes marijuana should not be grouped with performance-enhancers such as Human Growth Hormone and anabolic steroids which carry two-year bans.
Instead, it says marijuana should be treated as only an illicit substance.
Coalition chief Malcolm Speed will meet the World Anti-Doping Agency on Wednesday as part of regular discussions, and says anti-doping efforts should concentrate on drug cheats.
"What we've asked for, among a number of other requests, is that where a substance is on the banned list but isn't a performance-enhancing substance, it should be removed," said Speed, a former chief executive of the International Cricket Council. "Cannabis fits into that category."
Speed said while athletes should still be tested for cannabis, the sporting bodies want the right to punish athletes who test positive under their own policy, rather than the WADA code.
"What we're seeking is to have an anti-doping code that deals with cheating, that deals with performance-enhancing and that is consistent, and cannabis doesn't fit into that," he said.
The Australian coalition is also seeking clarification from WADA on therapeutic use exemption, in the case of asthma inhalers and other medicinal substances.